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Splendour In The Grass 2013 - Part V - The National.

Splendour In The Grass 2013 - Part V - The National.

Headlining the second night of Splendour In The Grass was Brooklyn five-piece, The National.

Their set featured songs from their sixth studio album, ‘Trouble Will Find Me’, with the hour-and-a-half long set also allowing them to adequately pay homage to many of their greatest hits from their vast back-catalogue.

The band played to a slightly smaller crowd than the previous night’s headliners. Maybe this was due to their late playing time, maybe it was due to the band being slightly less well-known down under... however it really made no difference to the audience. Not even thirty seconds into the set and The National had the crowd singing along to the chorus of ‘Fake Empire'.

 

The band then moved onto their latest single, ‘I Should Live In Salt’, dedicated to lead singer Matt Berninger’s younger brother Tom, who recently gained buzz over his new documentary showcasing his time with the band.

However, it was old favourites that incited the most enthusiasm from the crowd, in particular, ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ and ‘Squalor Victoria’, a song that had guitarists Aaron and Bryce Dessner showcasing their extraordinary talent with an extended opening.

 

The band has a flair for creating an intimate concert experience, even on a festival main stage.

Berninger’s candid chatter helped to maintain this feeling as he admitted that all their songs are either "love songs or drinking songs - this is a combination..." before launching into the tender ballad, ‘I Need My Girl'.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, they were not beyond reminding you that this was a rock concert.

Perhaps the most thrilling moment of the show was during ‘England’ when Berninger, abandoning all caution, jumped the security barrier and hurled himself off the stage into the audience.

He continued to perform as the mob grew increasingly frantic, desperate to be closer to their hero

 

Not content with stopping there, the band pulled out a head-tossing, foot-stamping rendition of [Barack Obama approved song] ‘Mr November’.

Again, Berninger could not tear himself away from the crowd, singing the line "I’m the new blue blood..." whilst attempting to crowd-surf with his security frantically trying to keep a hold of the back of his shirt.

 

Nowhere else will you see five seemingly reserved men in suits flicking a half drunken bottle of red wine at their adoring fans. They had the crowd one minute, rocking like they never had before, and the next stealing stolen embraces and breaking out into impromptu waltzes.

Show me your altar boys; I would like to worship at it.

 

Setlist:
Fake Empire
I Should Live In Salt
Don’t Swallow The Cap
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Mistaken For Strangers
Sea of Love
Trouble Will Find Me
Demons
Afraid Of Everyone
Conversation 16
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This Is The Last Time
Abel
Slow Show
Sorrow
Pink Rabbits
Apartment Story
Graceless
England
Mr November
Terrible Love

Next: 2013 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS Part VI - LITTLE GREEN CARS - click HERE.

Previous: 2013 SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS Part IV - MS MR - click HERE.

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